Free management tip of the day, courtesy of The Godfather

Not that I look for a lot of sound business advice from Mafia movies, but there was one good tip in the Godfather: “Mr. Corleone is a man who insists on hearing bad news immediately.”

No one likes bad news, but I’d rather know about it sooner rather than later so I can do something about it.  I have found that being open to this really helps you in your career.  People seem genuinely surprised and pleased when you are open to feedback.

Of course, I don’t suggest reacting to the bad news with severed horse heads.  There might be a downside to that.

A key success factor is not shooting the messenger.  I have a saying that you should give people the benefit of the doubt, because you can always overreact later.  That has saved me from counterproductive reactions many times.

That doesn’t mean I’m soft on crime.  I’ve had to fire several people over the years who quit doing quality work and wouldn’t respond to coaching.

Also, I’ve found that communicating bad news upwards in a proper way makes a big difference.  Glossing over or hiding problems is never a good strategy.  People respect you more when you own mistakes and quickly convey recovery and prevention plans.

Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.


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